Decline and fall of the Nobel Peace Prize

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  • #1
arildno
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Nobel Prize to Barack Obama

Barack Obama has won the Nobel Prize for 2009.

First off, congratulations to USA and President Obama.

Secondly, as a Norwegian, I am deeply worried about how this will affect the credibility and status of the Nobel prize as such:

While Mr. Obama certainly has displayed a willingness, and ambition, to make the world a more peaceful place, I think it was far too early to award him the prize this year.

Clearly, the Nobel commitee is determined to award it to him in order to give his peaceful efforts an extra push.

But, this can easily backfire, as an ill-judged, hasty decision that will reduce the Prize into a matter of international irrelevance.

A risky move, IMO
 
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  • #2
Vanadium 50
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Compared to Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho - how bad can it get?

I do agree that it is risky. A lot can happen between now and the end of his term. One could argue that it was more about, to use your words, willingness and ambition, than concrete tangible results. On the other hand, everything may work out well and it may appear prescient.
 
  • #3
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Secondly, as a Norwegian, I am deeply worried about how this will affect the credibility and status of the Nobel prize as such:

Thirdly, as a Swede, I am deeply worried about the populistic manner in which the Norwegian committee is handing out the peace prize.

Ok, this is not as bad as in 2007 and, especially, 1994 (!), but seriously, this threatens to spill over and damage the reputations of the "true" prizes. I thought the prize was supposed to be given out for something which had happened, and not what will possibly happen. This is like giving the physics prize to Peter Higgs.

(Don't get me wrong, I really like Obama.)
 
  • #4
Monique
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The first thing I thought as well was "that's fast".
 
  • #5
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Don't you actually have to do something in order to be eligible to win a Nobel prize?
 
  • #6
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Woah, when I first read the title of this I thought it was a joke. What exactly has Obama done that warrants him getting the prize? I want one too now..
 
  • #7
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Has anyone ever declined the Peace Prize and would this be humble/smart on Obama's part or make matters worse?
 
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For now we have the press release
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.
Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. Thanks to Obama's initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.
Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population.
For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world's leading spokesman. The Committee endorses Obama's appeal that "Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges."
There is also this aspect, one must loose sight, between the politics of fears and nightmares, and the politics of hopes and dreams.
 
  • #9
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Do they mean in that press release, that no one else has ever had this vision??? My neighbors DOG has this vision!
 
  • #10
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While Mr. Obama certainly has displayed a willingness, and ambition, to make the world a more peaceful place, I think it was far too early to award him the prize this year.

Clearly, the Nobel commitee is determined to award it to him in order to give his peaceful efforts an extra push.
The reason for the award - "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples". What extraordinary efforts?!

I think it premature to give Obama the peace prize. At the moment, he's just doing the job he is supposed to do as president.

The prize should be awarded for accomplishments, not willingness to accomplish something.
 
  • #11
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I don't think awards should ever be given out for "good intentions." I mean this is not Peewee football no one should get awards for simply participating. What kind of light does this shine on the other recipients. Is theirs just as symbolic.

I think they should consider him once he has at least made some specific attempts at accomplishing what has been described in the award. Not simply giving him an award for talking about doing these things.

How many world leaders have discussed a want to pursue open world diplomacy and nuclear disarmament only to turn around and do something else or fail.

I think it was premature and a stunt on the part of the committee.
 
  • #12
Vanadium 50
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My neighbors DOG has this vision!

So why didn't you nominate Fido? :biggrin:
 
  • #13
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So why didn't you nominate Fido? :biggrin:

Well frankly no one ever asks me. But since that prize may soon be up for grabs again soon.... I nominate FRED.. (the dog)!
And since this is a big time for awards, congratulations to you and how do I get my signature to work? :) Thanks.
 
  • #14
arildno
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To give a few details about the reception of the news here in Norway:

a) Dagbladet, an influential newspaper here (and an "Obamafan"-paper as well), had a poll on the reception:
Of approx. 12000, 46% were against, 30% supportive.
Being somewhat of an embarrassment for the Obama-clique in dagbladet, it seems they have withdrawn the poll altogether.

b) This decision has most likely been browbeaten into fruition by the Comittee's new chairman, previous Prime Minister and Parlamentary President, Torbjørn Jagland.

He would easily have cowed any (well-founded) internal opposition, due to the personalities of the other members of NC.
 
  • #15
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As an American, I can already see that this will be the topic of the week and am already sick of the stupid arguments this will cause. The Republican party will criticize the President as if he had something to do with it, and the Democrats will be starry-eyed for the rest of the term.
 
  • #16
arildno
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EDIT:
After some difficulty, I found Dagbladet's poll again:
Respondents now at 40000+, against: 51%, supportive: 26%
 
  • #17
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I agree with the general consensus here that perhaps it was a bit politicized, but of course there have been some weird recipients throughout history, such as Kissinger, Mother Teresa, The 14th Dalai Lama and Arafat, to name a few.

http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/
 
  • #18
arildno
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Has anyone ever declined the Peace Prize and would this be humble/smart on Obama's part or make matters worse?



Of course, he would then "join" the company with Mr. Le Duc Tho, the North vietnamese who were given a joint prize in 1973 along with Henry Kissinger. Le Duc Tho chose to decline (not surprising, perhaps, since the North Vietnamese had no intention to keep their side of the bargain, anyway).

http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/shortfacts.html
 
  • #19
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Must have been a slow year for peace.

How exactly does his vision differ from anyone elses? And since when does a vision warrant a peace prize?
This is on par with the Grammys.
 
  • #20
arildno
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Although the voting is secret, it is very probable that the 3 indiduals (out of 5) who finalized the decision was:

Thorbjørn Jagland

Sissel Rønbeck

Ågot Valle

Jagland and Rønbeck both have careers from the Labour party, Valle from the Socialist Left.

Kaci Five (Conservatives) and Inger-Marie Ytterhorn (Party of Progress) may well have had strong reservations, but have been "commanded" to keep their mouths shut.

Only once has internal dissent within the NC been made public, when Kåre Kristiansen lodged a formal dissent at the decision to award Yasser Arafat the Peace Prize in 1994 (co-sharing with Rabin and Peres).
 
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  • #21
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Must have been a slow year for peace.

How exactly does his vision differ from anyone elses? And since when does a vision warrant a peace prize?
This is on par with the Grammys.

Fred...(the dog) would happily accept a Grammy for his constant barking, yapping and rapping, but decline the Nobel Peace prize for all the headache it would cause. And he says he is a Dog not a puppet.
 
  • #22
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I think it premature to give Obama the peace prize. At the moment, he's just doing the job he is supposed to do as president.

Bush was doing the same :wink:

But seriously, while I appreciate shift of the paradigm in US international policy, I agree that the prize awarded to Obama today is a nonsense. From my end of the world it seems like he has the potential to became one of those people who earnt the prize, but as of today it is long from happening.
 
  • #23
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I thought it was a joke when someone told me.. I was waiting for the punchline!
 
  • #24
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But seriously, while I appreciate shift of the paradigm in US international policy, I agree that the prize awarded to Obama today is a nonsense. From my end of the world it seems like he has the potential to became one of those people who earnt the prize, but as of today it is long from happening.

My thoughts exactly. I mean like he HAS done extremely well on the international political field (as far as I know) and made some great strides but I still feel its a bit premature for the prize. Imo it would be a perfectly O.K. decision on Obama's part to decline the prize... he's very charismatic so I'm sure he could defuse the entire situation. Has anyone declined the prize on the basis they felt they hadn't 'earned' it before?


@cristo

me too haha when I woke up this morning and saw this thread I didn't think it was true. Actually it was the last thing in my mind. I have nothing against Obama I actually am really supportive of him and his views but like come onnnnnn.
 
  • #25


I think it premature to give Obama the peace prize.

That was my first thought (once my husband really insisted he wasn't joking). I'm worried that public opinion about this prize will negatively impact the domestic and foreign policies that he's presently forwarding.
 

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